Patrick Modiano: Suspended Sentences

“The Nobel Prize for literature is an annual occasion for the average person to feel parochial and uncultured. In a good year, a laureate might be a writer you’ve heard of – perhaps even read – but confronted with a Swedish poet or Chinese novelist who has never had his writings translated into English, one cannot be blamed for simply shrugging and forgetting the name.

“Patrick Modiano is a name that is unlikely to have meant much to Anglophone readers before 9 October 2014, when he was announced as recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature. Fewer than half of his novels, novellas and memoirs have been translated from his native French into English and most of those are now out of print. Previously, he was best known outside of France through his work on the script of the Louis Malle film Lacombe, Lucien (1973).

“A newly published collection of three of Modiano’s novellas in English gives English-speaking readers the chance to assess the 2014 laureate…”

Read the full review on SPIKED, 14 November 2014 here:

http://www.spiked-online.com/review_of_books/article/modiano-master-of-the-oblique/16186#.Vd-LaPldU5k

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Sean B Carroll: Brave Genius (Camus & Monod)

“When Albert Camus died in a car accident in 1960, the Nobel Laureate was mourned not only as a creative artist but also as a moral philosopher. Camus championed moderation, dialogue and the inalienable dignity of the individual at a time when – in France – partisan loyalty to nation and party often led people to advocate and defend acts of barbarity. Camus refrained from becoming too publicly involved in the debate over Algeria, first in the grip of civil unrest then wracked by civil war, but instead worked to influence events behind the scenes. Acutely sensitive to the suffering of fellow Algerians, he knew his pleas for clemency from the French government and moderation from FLN insurgents would draw condemnation from both ends of the political spectrum.

Even Sartre, Camus’s ally-turned-opponent, admitted he was ‘an admirable conjunction of a person, an action, and a work’.

One of those most deeply touched by Camus’ death was Jacques Monod, a leading microbiologist at the Pasteur Institute…”

Read the full review on SPIKED, 22 November 2013 here:

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/camus_and_monod_courage_and_genius/14328#.Vd98efldU5k